VolitionRx Limited (NYSEAMERICAN:VNRX), an epigenetics company developing easy to use and cost-effective blood tests, announced Thursday that it will present three abstracts at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.
The Austin, Texas-based firm said the first abstract presented will reveal initial data demonstrating the ability of Volition's sample-enrichment tool, Nu.Q Capture, to separate short and long nucleosomes in clinical colorectal cancer samples to enable the concentration of tumor-derived nucleosomal markers prior to analysis.
The other two abstracts will provide new performance data for Volition's Nucleosomics Nu.Q technology in the early detection of lung cancer and blood cancer.
Data from a pilot study, the first published results for Volition's Nu.Q Capture program, showed that Nu.Q Capture technology successfully demonstrated enrichment of circulating tumor nucleosomes and tumor DNA (ctDNA). The data clearly showed the separation of short and long nucleosomes from both cancer cell lines in a laboratory setting, and in clinical colorectal cancer patients versus healthy controls.
"Effective removal of most 'healthy/long' nucleosomes creates an enriched sample allowing for more accurate measurement of cancer nucleosomes,” Dr Mark Eccleston, who is the business development director and a founding scientist at Volition, said in a statement.
“Similarly, the removal of most 'healthy/long' nucleosome-associated DNA can also enhance detection of cancer using ctDNA technologies. These data are a really positive sign of the potential of Nu.Q Capture as a valuable tool to enable improved and earlier detection of cancer," he added.
For more information about the abstracts readers can watch this short video: https://youtu.be/ypzzfpnvC5w.
The study, conducted with Dr Anne Sibille and the team at Liege University Hospital, Belgium, aimed to assess the performance of a Nu.Q assay in discriminating both between lung cancer and healthy controls, and between lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
A pilot study of 142 subjects demonstrated that Nu.Q assays could not only discriminate lung cancer versus healthy controls with an Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 88% but also between lung cancer and COPD with an AUC of 85%. The AUC is an industry-accepted measure of the effectiveness of an assay whereby 100% is the most accurate.
Commenting on the study, Dr Marielle Herzog, who is the research and development director at Volition, said: "Lung cancer is not only the most prevalent cancer, but it is also the most deadly, responsible for over 1.75 million deaths worldwide each year.”
“It’s diagnosis currently relies on invasive methods and often occurs at a late stage of disease, explaining its poor outcome. Our hope is that a blood-based test could aid earlier diagnosis."
The pilot study investigated the circulating levels of intact nucleosomes containing the histone H3.1 isoform (Nu.Q-H3.1) in a variety of solid tumors including Non Hodgkin Lymphoma, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, and in healthy subjects.
The results showed elevated levels of Nu.Q-H3.1 in patients diagnosed with cancers.
"Elevated nucleosome levels have been reported for a number of diseases. These encouraging early results indicate that levels of Nu.Q™-H3.1 are particularly elevated in haematological cancers. These data show that Nu.Q technology may be a useful diagnostic tool warranting further study," said lead author, Dr Jason Terrell, who is the chief medical officer at Volition.
For more information about this abstract please watch this video https://youtu.be/8QYDGPlA4EY
The abstracts will be available to view starting at 5:00 pm ET on May 13 on the ASCO meeting library.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive